5 Keys to Getting Stuff Done

by Aileen

This topic came up while talking with a friend today. She simply has too much on her plate, new things keeps coming up… and nothing is getting done. She wants to go with the flow and trust that it will all get done in time. The problem is, nothing is getting done and it’s becoming very stressful.

The truth is…if she doesn’t plan it out, then it simply won’t get done because there is a new immediate crisis to handle.

I thought about condensing this one to ‘the two major keys,’ but then I thought you might be interested in all 5.

The 2 super biggies …in case you’re wondering… are
(1) Plan It (2) Guard your time vigilantly!

The 5 Keys:

(1) Tame the Free Spirit within

Do not convince yourself that you’ll just go with the flow, wing it or play it by ear. This strategy is almost a guarantee that the thing you need to do won’t get done, at least not any time soon. We all know, there are far too many enticing distractions tempting us.

(2) Plan it out in advance.

You might decide you will tackle this project tomorrow or maybe next week. It doesn’t matter what day you pick, just be sure to PLAN IT!
…And decide in advance how much time you are going to allocate.

To accomplish this, use a calendar; schedule it, especially if it’s several small things and a few big things. If you see it scheduled in a calendar you’re more apt to commit to your schedule and even see yourself making progress.
I’m a huge fan of Google Calendar it pops up on my cell phone and on my computer. You can even share your calendar with your partner/family  so you don’t double book. It’s a powerful tool! ..Yes, previously I was a paper calendar girl. I loved my “at a glance” book calendar… alas, I’ve come to understand how inefficient it is; hence, google calendar

Example Income Taxes:

Saturday and Sunday I will do my income taxes.

9am – 1pm – I will go through all my receipts and pull my expenses.
1:00pm – 2:30pm – lunch
3:00pm – 6:00pm – finish my receipts.
Saturday Night – Fun time, go play

10:00am – 1:00pm – gather all of your tax mail your 1099, W2 etc..
1pm – 2:30pm – lunch
3:00pm – 8:00pm – begin entering that data in Turbo Tax.

Keep focused….and continue until you complete the taxes. Be mindful of distractions and procrastinations. You’ll be relieved when it’s done. ahhh

(3) Guard your time

Make an appointment with yourself and do not break it. Say NO to offers that come up. If a friend says, “lets go shopping.” Say “No”
If the phone rings – say “no” to picking it up.

Don’t allow anything to stop you, unless it’s an emergency. Everything else can wait until you are done.

(4) Know your weakness

What tends to distract you? Is it the telephone, email, facebook, internet, your friends, your own short attention span?

You know what your weaknesses for distraction are. Think of what might distract you from taking action and prepare your self so you won’t be distracted. Turn off the phone, internet, television whatever it is. If it’s your children see if someone can entertain them for this period of time.

(5) Stay focused

Stay focused on getting the task done. Pull your own will power from within you. How? By choosing to and just making it happen.

Yes, this can be a struggle at first, but eventually your willpower and determination grow and you become a warrior of focus allowing nothing to stop you.

Willpower and determination are a matter of strength training. If you want a stronger body, then you build it. If you want stronger willpower & determination, then build it. Be relentless. Dare to sweat through it, scream through it – it can be tough …but you will get it done!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean Sarauer May 18, 2010

I’ve really gotten to be a time warrior. When it is my set time to accomplish something, it takes a true emergency to divert me. That definitely wasn’t always the case, but by getting mindful of something else on this list – knowing my weaknesses – I was able to improve. I still have to use an online timer to keep my writing focus some days though. Sad but true :)
.-= Jean Sarauer´s last blog ..And the Winner is . . . . =-.


Aileen May 19, 2010

How fantastic you’ve become a Time Warrior! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love timers, there disruptive annoyance is great :)


Carli April 21, 2014

Your thnniikg matches mine – great minds think alike!


minimalmark May 18, 2010

I think the advice is sound and practical. And your friend also needs to try and stem the new flow of stuff coming in – why is there so much to do? Can any of it be headed off at the pass or outsourced?


Aileen May 19, 2010

Hi Mark, you are very insightful!!! I think some people just get in the habit of chaos and sometimes break it can be a sort of identity crisis.
Thank you for your insights!!


Angela Artemis May 18, 2010

Aileen, great post and very helpful.

I’m a big list-maker. I love to cross things off as I complete a task. I also have caller I.D. on my phone – which I think is one of the greatest inventions ever. I screen my calls and won’t answer the phone when I’m in the middle of a project.

I think your friend could learn a lot from you. I hope he/she is reading your excellent blog?
.-= Angela Artemis´s last blog ..Intuition: Will We Ever Learn how It Works? =-.


Aileen May 19, 2010

You are a Time Warrior like Jean (virginbloggernotes.com) YAY that is fantastic. I’m guessing that’s how you manage such a full life.



John Sherry May 19, 2010

Another beauty this. We all know that planning works but you spin your own unique angle that takes it to another level. I particularly adore the ‘guard your time’ and ‘know you weaknesses’ points. We all plan but this shows HOW we go astray and helps keep a plan on plan. With this one on not being tempted and your other post on zero spending I’ve got no excuse for slipping out for a cinammon latte now. Darn!
.-= John Sherry´s last blog ..How to live G.L.A.D not S.A.D. =-.


Katie May 19, 2010

Great stuff, Aileen. Still use a paper calender – but only with pencil so I can make quick easy changes. Saying “no” that’s a biggie and I love your advice on knowing your weaknesses. That’s so key to getting anything done, a big picture awareness is often lost in the frenzy of life. I, too, have lots of friends whose lives seem out of control – I want to help. Maybe I’ll send them your post as a start.
.-= Katie´s last blog ..How to Ride a Steep Learning Curve =-.


Aileen May 21, 2010

oh the art of knowing our own weakness :)

yes, please feel free to pass along the post to anyone who may benefit from it.


Louise Mahoney May 27, 2010



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